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Wildlife of Rwanda and Tanzania

  • 13-day East African safari adventure
  • Encounter abundant wildlife, from lions and elephants to mountain gorillas

Expedition Details

 

From the lions and leopards of Tanzania's savanna to the endangered gorillas that inhabit the emerald hills of Rwanda, experience the diversity of Africa's wildlife. On safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, watch timeless scenes of predator and prey play out before you. Then enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the wild.

Trip Highlights

    • Track mountain gorillas and meet experts from the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project in Rwanda.
    • Hike to the original site of National Geographic grantee Dian Fossey's Karisoke Research Center.
    • Meet a wildlife researcher in Tanzania and observe wildlife on game drives.
    • Get to know a Maasai chief and learn about traditional beading techniques.

Itinerary - 13 Days

Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Arusha, Tanzania

Depart on an overnight flight to Amsterdam, and connect to Kilimanjaro International Airport. Arrive late in the evening and transfer to our hotel in Arusha.
Serena Mountain Village

Day 3 — Arusha/Serengeti

Catch a morning flight to the Serengeti and settle into your safari lodge, located along a migration corridor for optimal wildlife viewing. This afternoon, set out on our first safari, keeping an eye out for lions on the hunt and herds of zebras and wildebeests trudging through the savanna. Tonight, gather for a welcome reception and a talk by our expert before dinner.
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Serengeti

Embark on an early morning game drive to view wildlife at one of their most active times of the day. During lunch, enjoy a talk by a local wildlife researcher. Later, set out on an afternoon game drive.
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater

After breakfast, travel through the heart of Maasai tribal lands to the Ngorongoro Crater, and check into our safari lodge, perched on the crater’s rim. Visit a Maasai village, and later attend a traditional beading demonstration and a talk by a Maasai chief.
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Ngorongoro Crater

Rise early and descend 2,000 feet to the crater floor this morning. Sprinkled with watering holes, the crater is a volcanic caldera that spans an area more than 100 square miles. It shelters almost 30,000 animals, including elephants, rhinos, buffalo, cheetahs, lions, hyenas, hippos, and wildebeests as well as a variety of birds and ungulates. In the afternoon, go for a hike along the crater rim or relax at the lodge.
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Ngorongoro Crater/Arusha

After a morning safari in the crater, return to Arusha and check into our hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to relax by the pool or explore this lively town on your own.
Serena Mountain Village (B,L)

Day 8 — Arusha/Kigali, Rwanda/Sabyinyo

This morning, fly to Kigali. Known as the "land of a thousand hills," Rwanda was the backdrop of one the most chilling and tragic chapters of recent history. Having spent the past decade rebuilding, the country is now characterized by resilience and promise. On a tour of this thriving capital city, browse Rwandan handicrafts at an open market and visit the moving Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Then stop in at the Hotel des Mille Collines — made famous by the movie Hotel Rwanda — on the way to the Virunga Mountains. Check into our luxurious lodge in time for dinner.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Parc National des Volcans

Spend a day tracking gorillas in the forested hills of the Parc National des Volcans. Follow local guides through thick undergrowth and dangling vines in search of gorilla families. Once we find them, sit among these gentle giants, observing their interactions, listening to their distinctive grumbles, and viewing one of the planet's most endangered creatures from an awe-inspiring, up close perspective. Return to the lodge in the afternoon for time at leisure.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Parc National des Volcans

Trek to the original site of the Karisoke Research Center, where the late Dian Fossey, a National Geographic grantee, carried out mountain gorilla research for 18 years. Or strike out into the lower reaches of the park on the lookout for golden monkeys, a distinct species of primate that can often be found in thick bamboo stands. In the afternoon, meet experts at the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project to learn about current efforts to protect and conserve the gorilla population.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Parc National des Volcans/Kigali

Pay a visit to a primary school and then experience Rwanda's colorful culture at a village that employs villagers and former poachers who have been trained in local arts such as basket weaving and woodworking. Watch drumming and dancing performances, meet with a traditional healer to learn about indigenous medicine, and try your hand at shooting a bow and arrow. Or you may enjoy an optional second day of gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans. This afternoon, return to Kigali and toast your wildlife adventure at a farewell dinner in town.
Kigali Serena Hotel (B,L,D)

Days 12 & 13 — Kigali/U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to Kigali International Airport for your flight home, arriving the next day.
(B)

Dates

This expedition is not currently being offered.

Activity Level

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

What To Expect

This is an active expedition with moderate to strenuous hikes. Participants should be physically fit. While gorilla tracking, guests will trek through thick jungle for up to five hours, depending on the location of the gorillas. Treks can be arduous, and the terrain can be steep, uneven, wet, and muddy. This trip is not suitable for those who suffer from a cardiac, respiratory, or circulatory disorder or a disability that limits mobility.